Postcolonialism and the Lusophone World


Portuguese is among the ten most widely spoken languages in the world with a number of primary speakers approximately equal to Arabic and Russian. Portuguese is the language of 25 percent of the population of the Southern Hemisphere. It is spoken by nearly 40 percent of the population in countries bordering the southern Atlantic rim region, around which eight metropolitan areas use the language.

The purpose of the Lusoglobe working group is to enhance understanding of cultural texts and dynamics that have resulted from the centuries-long networks of exchange among and beyond Portuguese-speaking regions in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The working group is interested in what this inquiry teaches about present-day cultural and political realities in the Lusophone world, as well as the role of Lusophone societies in the global milieu. Issues to be explored include domestic and transnational negotiations between "high" and "low" culture, and the impact of audiovisual culture (e.g., music, television, cinema) and diverse forms of expressive culture (e.g., folklore and folk life, religious and ritual traditions, festival practices) on contemporary national and global politics, economic systems, and discourses of identity.

Lusoglobe has been initiated through the support of OSU's Institute for Collaborative Research and Public Humanities. Its activities are co-sponsored by The Department of African American and African Studies, the School of Music, the Department of Theatre, the Center for Folklore Studies, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and the Center for Latin American Studies. Richard Gordon and Daniel Avorgbedor are the founders of the program.

Working Group Members:

  • Sarah Brooks (co-chair) – Political Science
  • Lúcia Costigan (co-chair) – Spanish and Portuguese
  • Maureen Ahern – Spanish and Portuguese
  • Stanley Blake – History
  • Richard Gordon – Spanish and Portuguese
  • Bill Horrigan – Curator-at-Large, Wexner Center for the Arts
  • Paul Nini – Industrial, Interior, and Visual Communication Design
  • Pedro Pereira – Spanish and Portuguese
  • Barbara Piperata – Anthropology
  • Laura Podalsky – Spanish and Portuguese
  • Amanda Potter – Educator for Public and University Programs, Wexner Center for the Arts
  • Daniel Reff – Comparative Studies
  • Tanya Saunders – African American and African Studies 
  • Lisa Voigt – Spanish and Portuguese

Archive of Past Activities: